Folksy touches on the violin
THE STRUCTURING and selection of songs by M. Chandrasekharan in his violin solo recital for Sri Parur Sundaram Iyer Trust defined his objectives clearly. The aesthetics of raga elaboration were sought to be brought out by exotic and folksy touches and quite understandably Chandrasekharan chose Kapi Narayani and Subha Pantuvarali to give full vent to his propensities. The short phrasings in both the ragas were colourful and they were impressive in this genre and it is through this route that Chandrasekharan made his musical expressions absorbing and bewitching.
The kirtanas that spurred him to revel in stylish presentation were ``Gaanamurte'' (Ganamurthi), ``Sarasa-Saama-Daana'' (Kapi Narayani) and ``Sri-Sathya-Narayanam'' (Subha Pantuvarali). The method of rendering them was glazed with hypnotic flavour. The mridangist, Madirimangalam Swaminathan, and the ghatam artiste, E. M. Subramaniam, moved in step with the clipped lilting process of Chandrasekharan's play.
The Tirumalai Tirupati Devasthanams, in association with the Music Academy, organised Talappaka Annamacharya Jayanti commencing with the group singing of the select songs termed Saptagiri Sankirtanas. That gave a devotional start to the function. After inauguration there was a vocal concert by Geeta Raja accompanied on the violin by Narmada and on the mridangam by Karukurichi Mohanaraman. The familiar ``Sriman-Narayana'' (Bowli), ``Charanu-Charanu'' (Aarabhi) and ``Bhavamulona'' (Suddha Dhanyasi) gave a fitting start. Geeta Raja garnished the items with alapana and swarams. The violinist and the mridangist extended meaningful support.
Technique and correctness alone cannot camouflage the lack of depth in music. Vocal treatment by Bombay Jayashree Ramnath, in her recital for Saraswathi Vaggeyakara Trust, was not such as to enthuse audience reaction. The cutcheri jogged on on the strength of the thinness of vocal transparency. A musician's art glows when he/she is able to capture the emotional basis of a raga or a kirtana. If even rakti raga as Devagandhari and kirtana ``Tulasamma'' of Sri Tyagaraja at Bombay Jayashree's hands failed to evoke or stir the receptive instincts of a rasika, the quality of her music could well be sensed. The lack of emotional content in this and the Saveri alapana and song ``Rama-Baana'' spoke of the circumsribed musical vocabulary of Bombay Jayashree. So much so aesthetic motivation took a back seat with raga sancharas of Devagandhari and Saveri coming out routinely and impassively. The other items too ``Chandram-Baja-Manasa'' (Asaveri) ``Kamakshi'' (Bhairavi Swarajati) were given a tame texture. A violin accompanist could get only that much of inspiration that the vocalist could provide. So, Embar Kannan's role too was modest and stereotyped. This, however, does not apply to mridangist, for whatever the depth of music from the vocalist and the violinist, the tala remains without such qualitative differences. J. Vaidyanathan, in such an uninspiring environment did his best to bolster up the appeal of the concert with his firm and imaginative percussive patterns. SVK
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